THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
saving up money and never spend a single cent, and when he got enough he would buy his wife, which was owned on a farm close to where Miss Watson lived; and then they would both work to buy the two children, and if their master wouldn't sell them, they'd get an Ab'litionist to go and steal them.
It most froze me to hear such talk. He wouldn't ever dared to talk such talk in his life before. Just see what a difference it made in him the minute he judged he was about free. It was according to the old saying, " give a nigger an inch and he'll take an ell." Thinks I, this is what comes of my not thinking. Here was this nigger which I had as good as helped to run away, coming right out flat-footed and saying he would steal his children—children that belonged to a man I didn't even know ; a man that hadn't ever done me no harm.
I was sorry to hear Jim say that, it was such a lowering of him. My conscience got to stirring me up hotter than ever, until at last I says to it, " Let up on me—it ain't too late, yet—I'll paddle ashore at the first light, and tell." I felt easy, and happy, and light as a feather, right off. All my troubles was gone. I went to looking out sharp for a light, and sort of singing to myself. By-and-by one showed. Jim sings out :
" We's safe, Huck, we's safe ! Jump up and crack yo' heels, dat's de good ole Cairo at las', I jis knows it!"
I says :
" I'll take the canoe and go see, Jim. It mightn't be, j'ou know."
He jumped and got the canoe ready, and put his old coat in the bottom for me to set on, and give me the paddle ; and as I shoved off, he says :
" Pooty soon I'll be a-shout'n for joy, en I'll say, it's all on accounts o' Huck; Fs a free man, en I couldn't ever ben free ef it hadn' ben for Huck ; Huck done it. Jim won't ever forgit you, Huck ; you's de bes' fren' Jim's ever had; en you's de only fren' ole Jim's got now."
I was paddling off, all in a sweat to tell on him; but when he says this, it seemed to kind of take the tuck all out of me. I went along slow then, and I warn't right down certain whether I was glad I started or whether I warn't. When I was fifty yards off, Jim says :
" Dah you goes, de ole true Huck; de on'y white genlman dat ever kep' his promise to ole Jim."